Peace Through Strength


So this is what I’ve learned about conflict management…

Obviously, we are better off without conflict and to simply all get along–that’s the ideal!

Now unfortunately, in real life there may be situations where we may have fundamental differences of opinions and goals, and at times these may seriously clash. 

What’s good for you, may be bad for me (or vice versa)…that’s called a win-lose situation. 

And when we don’t see eye to eye and can’t get along, then either we can try to work it out and that’s where diplomacy comes in or at other times, we may have no choice but to take up arms and go to war.

Our first choice is diplomacy. Here, we sit down to listen and try genuinely to understand each other, and have empathy on others…life is not easy for anyone. 

Still we need to mesh what others want with what we need for our own wellbeing and progress, and that’s where negotiation, compromise, and de-escalation come into play. 

Best case scenario, we come up with a win-win situation, where we can both walk away from the table with a respectable enough amount of what we each want and our egos still intact, so that that we can all go our merry ways and pursue our lives and live within our values and amidst security.  

However, in some cases, some may be so unreasonable, intractable, and their actions so aggressive, egregious, and dangerous as to threaten, harm, and violate the lives of others, that it’s intolerable for it to continue any longer.

What’s left when we can’t put up and shut up, and when talk is exhausted, is to fight for what we believe in, for who we are, and for our right to live and prosper. 

Once, twice, three times and you’re out of time and luck–we are seriously headed for a clash of persons and/or civilizations. 

Peace is better won without firing a shot, but when it’s time to pull out the guns, they better be damn big and deadly ones. 

That is called peace through strength…where we have the guts and means to back up our position with force, if necessary. 

None of this bullshit of bringing a knife to a gunfight; instead, when we have no choice but to fight, we fight to win and everything is on the table. 

Peace is the preference, but if war is the only answer, then the other side may have unleashed hell, and that is what they will get from peace through strength delivered!😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Preventing Cyber Disaster


So I liked this ad from Palo Alto Networks on the side of the bus, over the windows:

“Dinosaurs react.
Professionals prevent.”

That’s some very good marketing for a cyber security company.

It’s almost a daily occurrence now to hear about the infiltrations into our networks and exfiltrations or manipulations of data that is taking place across government and industry.

Just today again, another NSA contractor accused of stealing highly classified computer code.

The day before Guccifer 2.0 and Wikileaks releases trove of stolen documents from the Clinton Foundation

And again, J&J reveals that it’s insulin pump is vulnerable to hacking following allegations in August that St. Jude heart devices were subject to life-threatening hacking. 

Certainly, we can’t afford to sit back and wait to react to the next attack…damage control and remediation is much harder than getting out in front of the problem in the first place. 

Prevention and deterrence is really the only solution…keep the hackers out and make sure they know that if they mess with us and our systems that we can identify who they are, find them, and take them out. 

These are the capabilities we need and must employ to dominate the cyber realm. 

In the presidential debates, candidates struggled to articulate how to deal with cybersecurity

But this is not a game of cyberopoly, rather national security, critical infrastructure, vital intellectual property, and our economy is at risk. 

Giving away Internet control and trying to plug leaks after the fact on a sinking cyber ship is no way to manage our vital technology resources.

It’s high time for the equivalent Cold War determination and investment that ensures we win a free and safe cyberspace with all our networks and data intact. 

This is the only way that we don’t go the way of the dinosaurs.😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

U.S. Shuts Eyes To Syria and Ukraine


While we are willing to take in some refugees (true to “our values”), we are not willing to enforce “red lines” and stop the killing in Syria’s almost 6-year murderous civil war. 

Incredibly, there are 500,000 killed (including 50,000 children) and another 2,000,000 wounded in the fighting already

Also, there are 6,000,000 internally displaced and another 4,800,000 refugees outside Syria causing a humanitarian crisis and destabilizing the region. 

Dictator Bashar Al Assad and most importantly, Russia seem unstoppable. 

Russia does not play by the West’s rules–they make the rules!

While we threaten to cut off diplomatic talks, Russia continues the heaviest bombing of the war with 1,900 bombs on Aleppo in the last week alone.

The UN cries foul with empty threats of war crimes on the atrocities being committed, but again no one is willing to stop Russia.

Moreover, Russia brings in yet more advanced weaponry and warns the U.S. not to try to stop them in Syria (sound familiar to the 2014 blitzkrieg in Crimea/Ukraine?). 

Again, we are unwilling to stop the bombardment of almost 300,000 civilians in Aleppo with aid convoys, hospitals, schools, and bakeries all grotesquely now being fair game.

Last week, I watched 60 Minutes on CBS about our nuclear bomber fleet, and the rising threat of nuclear war with Russia.

What was particularly scary is that U.S. military strategists are now concerned that the U.S. is “sociologically weaker” than our opponents.

In particular, they worry that as Russia continues to threaten first use of nukes to meet their strategic aims with “an evolved willingness to employ nuclear weapons in the course of a conflict,” they are counting on the U.S. to back down from any engagement or retaliation, because we would be so afraid of escalating with Russia, let alone using first. 

In other words, Russia does not consider the U.S. nuclear deterrent to be credible anymore–we are viewed as chicken and pushovers and Russia could simply “shock the Western powers into de-escalating.”

First Ukraine and now Syria, what country is safe from the “Great Bear”–will the Balkans be next or perhaps somewhere even more deadly to a broken NATO and a farce of a UN.😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

USA Surrendering The Internet

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So here we go again, we cut off the hand (and arm) despite the face.

We are recklessly giving up control of the Internet, specifically of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which oversees the Domain Names Servers (including all the DNS root zones like .com, .net, .gov, etc.) that handle all the addressing of our Internet traffic.

Despite repeated cautions from many in industry, academia, and government not to do this, we are moving ahead anyway with tomorrow being the transition date!

Why would we give away anything, let alone control over the awesome technological power of the Internet that we depend on in some way for virtually every activity we do these days?

Aside from non-explanations of “fulfilling historic promises” to cede control (i.e surrender the Internet out of fear that other countries will challenge us and set up their own alternate DNS’s) and nonsensical talk of “protecting Internet freedom” by giving it away to authoritarian regimes and despots–there seems to be no REAL reason to do this drastic action that weakens our country and puts our technology, commerce, critical infrastructure, and national security at risk!

Rather than defend the Internet that the USA invented (specifically DARPA), here we go again in fear and weakness going in the wrong direction–surrendering and giving up control of the web.

If you love the Internet and recognize how important this asset is to us, then like an FCC Commissioner said this week, you should be worried about what the h*ck we are doing to the freedom (vice censorship) of the Internet and to ourselves .😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Big Government Turnaround

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So I took this photo of a handout being distributed at a major local university here in Washington, DC.

Sort of ironic for this sign that says:

“Big Government Sucks”

…to be handed out in the capital of the United States of America!

It would make sense that this negative notion of big government is connected to the low approval ratings of Congress (17%) and government services (64.4) provided.

People are seeing and sensing that big government is bad government when it is:

– Dictatorial, corrupt, and discriminatory. 

– Mired in fraud, waste, abuse, and coverups. 

– Self-serving for the politicians that are elected to serve the people. 

– When it is bureaucratic and ineffective. 

– When it is confused and without vision or plan for the country. 

– When it’s indecisive, makes bad decisions, or can’t successfully execute short- and long-term on it’s mission. 

– When it is lacking in basic values of democracy, freedom, and human rights for all. 

At the same time, big government can be great government, when it is a beacon of light for its citizens and for the nations of the earth. 

– When it protects us from dictators, demagogues, terrorists, weapons of mass destruction, criminals, and all sorts of disasters.

– When it holds strong and cutting-edge the economy, prosperity, innovation, education, and competitive advantage of the nation. 

– When it safeguards and keeps sustainable the environment for future generations. 

– When it preserves and fortifies freedom, human rights, social equity, equality, and justice. 

– When it looks after the needy and less fortunate.

– When it lead the world in exploration, discovery, partnerships, and ultimately doing good for the people, the planet, and our future. 

Big government sucks when it goes wrong and then they start handing out these sad signs on our nation’s premier college campuses. 

This is a big problem to turnaround?  

But with smart, committed, and moral leadership it can be done!😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Heads Down, Pants Down

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If you put your head down in the global sand, then eventually your pants are going to get pulled down too, and you are going to get royally scr*wed (or should I say scr*w things up). 

And that’s exactly what’s happening to the reputation of the U.S. here and abroad.

Domestically, another 3 terror attacks just over the weekend in New York , New Jersey, and Minnesota.

While overseas, a humanitarian aid convey is attacked in Syria destroying 18 trucks and killing 20 people, and this after being coordinated with Russia, in advance.

And despite our touting our own horn of achievements at the UN yesterday, in the Wall Street Journal today, the former prime minister of Denmark and secretary-general of NATO is crying out on behalf of the world and imploring the U.S. to once again lead in the world, stating:

“We desperately need a U.S. president who is able to lead the free world and counter autocrats…right now, the [global] village is burning…we need a policeman to restore order; we need a firefighter to put out the flames.”

He goes on as to the consequences of the apparent reluctance to lead:

– “Middle East is torn by war”

– “Libya has collapsed and become a breeding ground for terrorists”

– “Resurgent Russia has brutally attacked and grabbed land by force from Ukraine”

– “China is flexing its muscles against its neighbors”

– “Rogue state of North Korea is threatening nuclear attack”

Oh, and I think he forget this one, but another WSJ piece captured it:

– “One year after Iran deal, Iran’s right’s violations and aggression continue [unabated]”

But aside from fighting terrorism and despots in the world, even when it comes to fighting for critical civil rights, there is weakness and disillusionment (today from Jason Riley in the Journal):

“By almost any traditional metric,–home-ownership, median incomes, labor participation, poverty–blacks are worse off today than they were at the start of Mr. Obama’s first term.” 

This country cannot lead with it’s head down and it’s hands tied!

It’s way past time to pick our heads up high and buckle our belts and get back in the ring to fight with belief and determination for what is right for us and the world.😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

State of U.S. Relationships


Here is the current state of a sampling of U.S. relationships with other countries around the world.

As the “superpower” and as a people who strongly value freedom, democracy, and human rights, as well as a people mainly of faith, we have the obligation to do good in this world. 

Also, we recognize our imperative to maintain strength and promote peace, prosperity, and betterment for all mankind.

We have some enormous challenges ahead, and we had better be up to it. 

There is a lot riding on this!😉


(All opinions my own)

(Source Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)